New York’s Highest Court Rules That Threshold for Punitive Damages Under NYCHRL is Lower Than Under Title VII

Gordon Law Group

In its latest ruling under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), New York’s highest court clarified the standard for plaintiffs to obtain punitive damages. In a landmark ruling, the Court held that “the standard for determining punitive damages under the NYCHRL is whether the wrongdoer has engaged in discrimination with willful or wanton negligence, or recklessness, or a ‘conscious disregard for the rights of others or conduct so reckless as to amount to such disregard.’” This standard is lower than the one set by federal courts under Title VII, simply because the NY Court found that the NY legislature intended a more liberal construction. The case is Chauca v. Abraham.

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